Sunday 23 March 2008

Tara protester is a hero

Sir -- I disagree with descriptions of Lisa Feeney's tunnel protest as "extremist" and "irresponsible". In my view, it is the politically ordained desecration of an area dotted with precious ancient ruins and historic sites that those words more aptly describe.

Lisa's brave stand against the bulldozing of part of Ireland's treasured and irreplaceable heritage reminds me of another woman whose protest was condemned by all the "proper authorities" and who endured the full force of the law for her efforts: Rosa Parks.

She sat in the "whites only" section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, and refused to stand when supremacist bullies demanded she did. This gesture sparked a national civil rights campaign for Afro-Americans in the USA.

But success came only after Rosa was taken from that bus by police for her gentle act of defiance, arrested, finger printed, questioned like a suspect in a major crime probe and accused of breaching Montgomery's transportation laws. It was her courage that roused the conscience of a nation. Rosa Parks took a stand against injustice by sitting down.

Lisa Feeney seized the high moral ground on the Tara question . . . by squatting in a small underground chamber.

She has clearly embarrassed the Big Boys. They had hoped to be able to quietly get on with the business of ripping out the very heart of Ireland.

John Fitzgerald,
Irish Independent

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